US Taliban peace talk


All focus and efforts are in place to bring peace, stability in Afghanistan in meeting of second day in Abu Dhabi the beginning of end of 17 year war devastated the country and multiplied radicals with modern move at snail pace.

US and Taliban officials have discussed proposals for a six-month ceasefire in Afghanistan and a future withdrawal of foreign troops as talks aimed at setting up peace negotiations went into a second day, Taliban sources said.

The meeting in Abu Dhabi is at least the third time that US special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has met Taliban representatives as diplomatic efforts to end the 17-year war have intensified this year.

Taliban officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the US delegation was pressing for a six-month truce as well as an agreement to name Taliban representatives to a future caretaker government.

However, the Taliban negotiators were resisting the ceasefire proposal as they felt it would damage their cause and help US and Afghan forces.

There was no comment from the US Embassy in Kabul.

In a statement issued late on Tuesday, the Taliban said the talks had mainly concentrated on the “US occupation”, adding: “Nothing about interim government, ceasefire, election or other internal issues has been discussed”.

“Talks revolved around [the] withdrawal of occupation forces from Afghanistan, ending the oppression being carried out by the United States and her allies,” the movement’s main spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a separate statement.

An Afghan government delegation travelled to the city and met Khalilzad as well as officials from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Pakistan.

However, despite US insistence that any peace settlement must be agreed between Afghans, the Taliban have refused to talk directly with officials from the Kabul government, which they consider an illegitimate, foreign-appointed regime.

The Taliban, seeking to reimpose strict Islamic law after their 2001 overthrow, say the presence of international forces in Afghanistan is the main obstacle to peace. Even as the peace process gathers momentum, fighting has continued with heavy casualties on both sides.

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